Chunky Marinara Sauce

I made this super easy Chunky Marinara Sauce recipe on TODAY Show last week with Kathie Lee and Hoda, and figured I'd share the recipe here, too. It was a segment about "cooking with kids," and I brought my friend Vicki's daughter Lexi along to make some fun dishes with me!


This easy tomato sauce takes only minutes to prep, and makes the whole house smell incredible as it bubbles on the stovetop. If you've never made sauce before, this is totally the recipe to try! You'll be amazed by how easy it is to make. I won't say that you'll "never buy store-bought sauce again," since I'm a professional and still love to keep a good jar or two of sauce on hand for emergencies, but this just might become your new fave.

Butter and grated carrot adds a silky and balanced sweetness to the sauce without having to add any sugar. And while you might be tempted to skip a step and just used canned diced or crushed tomatoes, I urge you to stick to the whole ones called for in the recipe. Crushing the tomatoes by hand makes for a chunky, rustic marinara that’s perfect with a variety of pasta shapes.

If you’re cooking with kids, let them dig in and crush the tomatoes—though fair warning that sometimes that their overzealous crushing can sometimes lead to few juicy splashes!

FYI that this recipe makes enough for two full dinners. I recommend freezing half of it for a future meal! 

If you like this recipe, you should also try my Spicy Pasta Arrabiata Recipe!


Chunky Marinara Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients
2 28-oz cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (substitute olive oil, if preferred)
1 large white or yellow onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
1 medium carrot, finely grated
5 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 large bay leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (about 20 medium leaves), torn into small pieces

Directions
Pour both cans of tomatoes into a large bowl. Use your hands to crush the tomatoes into smaller pieces. Set aside.

Heat the butter in a large, heavy-bottom saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and garlic and cook 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes and juices, oregano, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Stir and let simmer uncovered on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until thickened. Remove the bay leaves, stir in the basil. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper, as desired.


 

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